Prague ICT project inaugurated


05 June 2006 ORT and Ronald S. Lauder Foundation inaugurate ICT project in Prague ORTs most senior lay leaders and professional staff visited the Czech Republics only Jewish school to celebrate the inauguration of the ORT Lauder-Tye Science and Technology Centre. World ORT President Sir Maurice Hatter unveiled the plaque with the Executive Vice President and CEO of The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, Dr George Ban, at the Lauder Gur Aryeh Jewish Community Day School in Prague. Many of the schools 190 pupils as well as its teachers and members of World ORTs Executive Committee, which had been meeting in the city, attended the ceremony. The impact of this centre on the Jewish students is significant, if not huge, said Dr Radan Salomonovic, ORTs lay leader in the country. The Jewish community in this country is small only about 5,000 so it greatly appreciates help in raising educational standards because it wants to see the next generation go on to university. World ORT President Sir Maurice Hatter and Executive Vice President and CEO of The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, Dr George Ban.. The ORT Lauder-Tye Science and Technology Centre is the first stage of a four-year, $180,000 project to provide students with access to 21st century skills. Jointly funded by World ORT and The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, and with a valuable contribution by American donor Raymond Tye, the new Lauder-ORT Science and Technology Centre boasts the most up-to-date facilities for studying Information and Communications Technology (ICT). In the two years leading up to the centres installation at the school, Dr Salomonovic, a physicist, was instrumental in arranging the technical side of the operation. The centre boasts 18 computers, new furniture and teacher station and a fast internet connection. From left: Sir Maurice Hatter, Jewish Museum of Prague Director Leo Pavlat, Dr George Ban, World ORT Executive Committee Chairman Mauricio Merikanskas, World ORT Director General Robert Singer. . The next step, said the Head of World ORTs Coordination Department Vladimir Dribinskiy, is to extend the ICT facilities into the teaching of general subjects and to start on-going and intensive training of the teaching staff. In Prague we are following the model that we developed through our successful work in the former Soviet Union and in the opening of the Lauder-ORT Science and Technology Centre in Sofia, Mr Dribinskiy said. Lauder Gur Aryeh pupils entertain the guests.. To help commemorate the centres inauguration, school pupils performed part of a childrens play that had originally been performed in the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Every Jewish philanthropic organisation has its own aims and goals but with World ORT we can see that there are certain meeting points where we can, in a manner of speaking, complete each other rather than compete, Dr Ban said. This benefits both our organisations but, above all, this cooperation benefits our students. World ORT Director General Robert Singer said the new centre marked a serious consolidation of ORTs return to the Czech Republic since the fall of Communism. Soon after the war, ORT was running more than 30 vocational courses in what was then Czechoslovakia, until the Communist regime took them over, Mr Singer said. We returned to Prague in 1996 with the opening of a computer laboratory at the Education and Culture Centre of the Jewish Museum and were now very proud to be supporting the Jewish school. World ORT, founded in 1880, is the worlds largest Jewish educational and vocational training non-government organisation with some 270,000 students Jewish and non-Jewish in 58 countries.